October 12, 2021
Labasa and Digicel National Football team goalkeeper Akuila Mateisuva is juggling between work and training ahead of the resumption of the Digicel Premier League.
Speaking to FijiLive, Mateisuva said a Police officer’s duty to serve the nation comes first and sometimes he has to sacrifice his football training.
“Priorities first! I am a police officer and duty comes first over anything.”
“Fiji is going through the COVID-19 pandemic, I have to give more time in my profession then in my training.”
“That’s my job as a Police officer. I wore this uniform for a reason and I’m taking this pandemic as a challenge to learn more on time management.”
Mateisuva has been in the Fiji Police Force for eight years and says this has been the most challenging year of his life.
“It’s very difficult to juggle things, especially being an officer on duty, then this pandemic hit, we have a family back home, who depend on us and then we are athletes as well.”
“Sometimes it’s very difficult because we get sleepless nights but that’s our job to serve our country. We have to be at the forefront so that our people are able to sleep well at night.”
“This year has taught me a lot in the sense of what family means and time management. I never had an experience of a pandemic as such in my life but this one hit me really hard.”
“It has kept me away from my family and also my training. But then again it’s all part of my job to stay focused and do my duty,” he explained.
The 29-year-old began his football career with the Babasiga Lions in 2008 before he moved to Rewa for a short stint in 2013 and then returned to Labasa.
The Ketei native from Totoya in Lau had to sacrifice the on-going national camp at the academy ground in Ba.
However, he is utilising his day offs and free afternoon schedule in doing his personal training at the Nasova Police Barracks.
“I was not released from my duty and so that’s the reason I could not be part of this camp. I know missing camp means missing out the important things but I count myself lucky that I have been given a daily training guide which I make use of.”
“Coach Serritslev has provided me with some materials which I have been looking into and training. The FIFA world cup qualifier is just a few months away and that makes us realise that a lot of work remains unfinished,” he emphasised.
Mateisuva is also aiming his first league title with the Northerners and is fully aware of his role since Labasa is unbeaten and have not conceded any goals in the league after six rounds.
“As a goalkeeper I have to stay alert and be at my fitness level so that I can run around the goal area and avoid any goals. I keep reminding myself that we need to win the league because this is the only tournament I have never won in my life.”
“I don’t want to allow any goals from the opponents although I know Lautoka will come out firing. I will try my level best and make sure that I win this year’s league,” he added.
By Romeka Romena